The VERYRARE team seem to be living in their own timezone; more specifically, one where there’s unlimited time. When we down a couple of espressos, slap on one of those much-memed lo-fi playlists and get approximately twenty three percent through our to-do list, we feel the urge to celebrate (namely, with an extended break). The reverse is true for Raf Reyes, the boundlessly energetic brains behind the brand; this guy makes the Duracell Bunny look like Eeyore.
We last spoke to him back in spring, delving deeper into his Paris-via-London streetwear label and its range of futuristic artwear. Trying to summarise the brand’s miniature world is a little like explaining quantum field theory in a game of Articulate, but, in short, they create graphic tees, sweats and pants emblazoned with your initials on the inside and a unique, verifiable VR-ID number to prove the piece’s authenticity.
But then there’s a whole metaverse to enter, like: manifestos that define the concept of ‘quattromotto’; the Goodie Galore, a party bag on steroids filled with handmade merch free for every customer; ViR®®tual stylists, selectable like Street Fighter characters; the VR™ siblinghood community; and that ain’t the twenty-three-percent of it.
Impossibly sourcing some more time during Paris Fashion Week, they recently returned with a new pop-up at Ithaki Paris, seeing them take over the space, redlining the energy levels as per usual. This wasn’t your usual a few hangers and a few hangers-on affair; there were live performances, collage sessions, in-person order-making, promoting total collaboration and a legit collective spirit.
Next, came their VRUNWAY. Their version of a show runway saw their crew (that’s ‘familyhood’ in what we’ll term VeRnacular) take over the streets of Paris in the brand’s clobber, skating and strutting from subway to sidewalk. It’s impossible not to look at the shoot and feel the buzz; it’s as authentic as anything we’ve seen in a long time, spotlighting a legit community that’s built on shared creativity rather than tired marketing speak.
We’d seen some of the pieces before, shot for the first time in situ following a year and a half of, well, you know. Like the outstandingly named Neotenic Nuns With Guns tee, fit with a red-and-black illustration that sees you staring down the barrel of a gun-toting sister exclaiming ‘Very Rare, Baby!’ Or the Last Supper: The Last Zoom shirt, featuring an exasperated Jesus trying to tell his disciples that one of them is going to betray him. Even Christ, it appears, struggled to switch to Gallery View.
As well as these devilishly iconoclastic mainstays, it was a chance for Raf and co. to showcase new collection ‘S03: Give ‘N’ Take’. We’re no mind-readers, but we’re pretty sure that moodboard was pinned with cult turn-of-the-century movie posters, scraps from graphic novels and nineties video game manuals. Extending VERYRARE’s artwear approach, it sees more ambitious creations come to the forefront, adding pants, hoodies and shirts to its arsenal of tees and hats. We’ve rifled through and picked out a few selects, ready for you to get to know.
First, quick note: they announced a whole new NFT project midway through writing, the kind of initiative that might feasibly take months of planning but VERYRARE can launch at the drop of a bucket hat. Their timezone, after all, seems to be every single world clock simultaneously – so take what you’ve read with a thimbleful of salt, it’s probably already out of date…
It’s grailed! Featuring an all-over religious diptych, a printed slogan on the back (‘I’ve Got An Angel On My Shoulders’) and custom collage patch on the cuffs, it’s like a stained glass window made for a 2021 Maybach.
These pants are high volume warning levels of loud, but tenacious rather than tinnitus. Printed with a gothic illustration of eternal inferno and hellish suffering, it’s the ideal last min Halloween layer.
We can only hope eternal paradise is as comfy as these pants are, but we doubt it. ‘Iced’ with spell out lettering, they’re finished with cuffed hems and a meticulously designed leather jacron.
One for those crazy about American Psycho. Featuring remixed graphics from the film, it’s also got the address of Dorsia printed on – that restaurant that poor old Patrick Bateman never could book…
Shop (what’s left of!) the VERYRARE Give N Take collection now, here.